Oct 2, 2011 11:00am EDT
. fiction about these debates. the you have never really told us what it's like to be in the middle of it. what did you decide to write a nonfiction book about debates? >> well, i thought it was time to do it. i thought that 2008, i did one of the obama mccain debates, i knew that this was probably going to be my last presidential debate. and so i decided pretty much the that was the case, so i started collecting my thoughts. i took a lot of notes through all these other previous. i realize that have some things i want to say. it would be hard to say fire was still about so do another debate will whenever, some of that and have had anything, and the scores to settle. >> story is a different. i thought they're worse time. i really do believe so strongly in the importance of these debates. i wanted to share my feeling about the importance and some of the nitty gritty that i think is part and parcel of why. >> well, talk to me a little bit about why they have become such an important part of the presidential process. of course it wasn't always that way. we seem to think it was. >> of always.
Oct 30, 2011 9:00pm EDT
and chrysler. >> were you surprised the mechanism the companies used to the legacy cost profit a balance sheet? >> guest: the 2007 labor talks for a watershed general motors in particular couldn't afford the billions and billions of dollars of health care that they were spending on every time aeries in particular. i think for several years for every 1 dollar gm spent on health care they spend 1 dollar products. not too many businesses can survive that kind of drain on their cash so they were on the thin ice if you will for quite a number of years and make it quarter to quarter. but the 2007 agreement allowed them to offload the costs to the health care trust. but even then and now in retrospect it was a little bit like monopoly money. committed $30,000,000.07 to the retiree health care and the money just wasn't there and became clear a year later that the sort of hold the battleship had sprung a big league and the gm financial structure and ford for that matter just couldn't meet these obligations any longer. >> host: you mention the similarities that some of the company's facebook obviously t
Oct 31, 2011 12:00am EDT
gm, ford, and chrysler. >> host: sure. were you surprised the mechanism the companies used to move some of their legacy costs off of their balance sheet? >> guest: well, the 2007 labor talks were really a water shut, and the unions should be given credit for understanding that the general motors in particular could not afford the billions and billions of dollars in health care that they were spending on retirees in particular. i think for several years for every one dollar gm spent on health care, they spent one dollar on products. not too many businesses can survive that kind of drain on their cash, so it was -- these companies were on thin ice if you will for quite a number of years, and they tried to make it quarter to quarter, but the 2007 agreement allowed them to off load these costs on to a health care trusts, but even that now in retrospect was like monopoly money. gm committed nearly $30 billion in 2007 to retiree health care, and that money just wasn't there, and i think it became clear a year later that the hull of the battleship had sprung a big leak, and gm's financial